Local Elections 2024: Votes roll in as Tories brace for difficult night across England and Wales

2 May 2024, 22:03 | Updated: 3 May 2024, 02:51

Counting is now underway after polls officially closed at 10pm
Counting is now underway after polls officially closed at 10pm. Picture: Alamy

By Flaminia Luck

Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer are facing possibly their last electoral test ahead of this year's anticipated general election - as control of over 100 councils and 11 mayoralties are decided at the ballot box.

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Polls across England have closed after a day of voting in a nationwide series of local elections, as well as parliamentary by-election.

Over 2,600 council seats across 107 local authorities in England are up for grabs, along with 10 high-profile mayoral races in major cities and regional authorities. Londoners will also elect 25 Assembly members.

Early results suggested a difficult night for the Conservative Party however it's not all plain sailing for Labour who have lost votes in areas traditionally held by them.

You can listen to LBC's special election coverage from 10pm tonight on Global Player, the official LBC app.

A ballot box is emptied during the count for the Blackpool South by-election
A ballot box is emptied during the count for the Blackpool South by-election. Picture: Alamy

Separately, 37 police and crime commissioner roles will be decided upon across England and Wales.

Blackpool South constituency has garnered particular attention, as a new Member of Parliament will be chosen, following the resignation of former Conservative Scott Benton, in a by-election, closely watched for broader national implications.

Ballots are counted at the count centre in Blackpool
Ballots are countedin Blackpool. Picture: Getty

There are no elections in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

However, a new legal requirement mandates that voters present an approved form of photo identification.

However, former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson fell foul of the new rule and was turned away from his polling place after forgetting to bring a valid ID.

To be eligible to vote, you must be aged 18 or above, and either a British, Irish, EU, or qualifying Commonwealth citizen who is a registered voter.

The Electoral Commission said "most voters" were able to cast their ballots despite the ID requirements.

"Our initial assessment of the elections is that they were well-run, and millions of voters were able to exercise their democratic rights," a spokesman said.

Polls are now officially closed
Polls are now officially closed. Picture: Alamy

"This is a testament to the efforts of electoral administrators, who work tirelessly to ensure the smooth delivery and integrity of polls.

"A number of new measures from the Elections Act were in force at these elections, including voter ID for the first time in Wales and parts of England. The electoral community has been working hard to prepare voters for these changes. Most voters who wanted to vote were able to do so.

"We will now begin to collect evidence from voters, electoral administrators, partner organisations, and campaigners to understand their experiences of the elections and identify any potential obstacles to participation."

Results will continue to arrive throughout Friday and over the weekend, with the last due on Sunday afternoon.

Here is when the results are expected to be announced on Friday morning

As the traditionally quick results from Sunderland start to trickle across, it looks like a good night for Labour so far.Here's when we expect results over this evening:

  • 12.30am: Broxborne
  • 1.30am: Hartlepool, Rochford & Sunderland
  • 2.00am: Bolton, Gosport, Ipswich, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North-East Lincolnshire, South Tyneside & Wigan
  • 2.30am: Chorley, Eastleigh, Fareham, Hart, Oldham, Porstmouth, Rushmoor & Southend-on-Sea
  • 2.45am: Exeter
  • 3.00am: Blackpool South by-election
  • 3.15am: Reading
  • 3.30am: Colchester, Gateshead, Redditch & Stockport
  • 4.00am: Peterborough & Plymouth
  • 4.30am: Southamption
  • 5.30am: Winchester

Mayoral results - including those in Greater London, West Midlands and Greater Manchester - will be announced on Friday and Saturday.

After polls closed, Sadiq Khan said his campaign and Labour activists "sent out a message of fairness, of equality and of hope".

The incumbent London Mayor said: "Whatever the results this weekend might bring, I am so proud of that."

Khan's Tory London mayoral rival Susan Hall said: "Thank you to everyone who voted today and all who came out and helped, I'm forever grateful.

"No matter the result, I'll never stop listening to you and fighting for a better London for all of us."